Case Studies on the Effects of Climate Change on Water, Livestock and Hurricanes



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This dissertation investigates the agricultural impacts of climate change in three ways addressing water implications of mitigation strategies, feedlot livestock productivity vulnerability induced by climate change and dust and welfare effects of altered tropical storm frequency and intensity.

Even though mitigation alleviates GHG emissions and ultimate climate change, it also has externalities and can alter water quantity and quality. The first essay focuses on examining the water quality and quantity effects of mitigation strategies. This is done using quantile regression and sector modeling. The quantile regression result examined land use change and showed that an increase in grassland significantly decreases water yield with changes in forest land having mixed effects. In the sector modeling we find that water quality is degraded under most mitigation alternatives when carbon prices are low but is improved with higher carbon prices. Also water quantity slightly increases under lower carbon prices but significantly decreases under higher carbon prices.

The second essay examines the effects of climate change and dust on feedlot cattle performance plus the benefits of dust control adaption. A linear panel data model is used to see the relationship between climate and dust with cattle sale weight. We find that hotter temperatures and increased dust levels generally worsen cattle live sale weight. Dynamic programming is then used to estimate the benefits of dust control. The results show that dust control activity is beneficial. Additionally, climate change is found to be damaging and a factor that reduces dust control benefits.

The last essay applies a demand model to investigate the economic consequences of tropical storm strikes on the vegetable market in Taiwan. Findings are that tropical storm strikes raise vegetable prices and in turn cause consumer loss and producer gain. Also higher intensity storms generally have larger impacts than lower intensity storms. Finally possible climate change induced intensified tropical storms or increased storm frequencies were found to result in a more severe welfare loss.